Wednesday, 3 June 2009

To be or not to be a cadastre

Thanks to Bob Barr to his tweet alerting me to Ms Spelman's question and the DEFRA written response - http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2009-05-19a.275782.h .

I had the pleasure of working on a number of land information systems development initiatives in emerging economies back in the 1990s where the establishment of rights in land (and property) were (and remain in some countries we are involved in as I speak) a key plank in the transition from centrally planned to "western" economy. The focus tended to be on the creation of what mainland european counterparts would recognise as a cadastre - land demarcation and subsequent registration - recording, protecting and securing rights in land and providing a stepping stone for investment, entrepreneurial activity, sustainable land use practices, improved yields and farm-gate incomes and a market in land and property.

To this day I find it ironic that it was often British organisations with British personnel who were widely regarded as having world leading expertise in land registration in particular but also in LIS and boundary dispute resolution, despite the fact that the United Kingdom does not have its own cadastre.

The 2007 eurographics survey report (at http://www.eurogeographics.org/eng/documents/finalreportaugust20073pdf_000.pdf) kind of ducks this fact - to be fair I think their approach to the 5 baseline parameters mostly works - with England, Wales and Scotland being notable for their differences from other Member States in key 'areas' - pardon the pun (if you read the report you'll get it!).

In this context Ms Spelman's question looks a tad better conceived than at first sight - after all HMLR does use OS data to underpin its won transition to e-business. And the answer from DEFRA is technically correct - until these definitions are in place (and one can conjecture as to the lobbying going on in Brussels) any affirmation as to what data will be covered by the transposition and thus the organisations responsible would be less than judicious.

One final thought - to what extent are land parcels a necessary element of a European wide spatial data infrastructure whose initial motivation was for improved cooperation in environmental issues?

1 comment:

  1. From Bob Barr (seems comments may not be working)

    "Thanks for the acknowledgment. The interesting questions are who fed the question to Ms Spelman? To what end?

    The answer is factually correct, however INSPIRE transposition and technical guidelines strike me as more and more of a red herring. The implementation of the Location Strategy irrespective of INSPIRE is much more important; as are the Core Reference Geographies, of which a parcel layer, however named, is one.

    Developed countries including the US and Australia are beginning to realise how central a multipurpose cadastre is to realising the benefits of an SDI.

    As a local councillor and Executive Board member responsible for regeneration I am horrified at the lack of any adequate parcel based layer for our town (pop. 200,000 4* Council!) because we are flying blind - this is the general case in most local authorities.

    This game may be about having a future Land and Property Agency to replace the three organizations named. However we should also bear in mind that the Conservatives have campaigned to prevent VOA buying data from Rightmove.

    Interesting times."

    ReplyDelete

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